The teacher will be asking randomly selected pupils questions about what they have learnt in today's lesson in three minutes time. You have three minutes to look through your books, talk to your classmates or ask the teacher questions before the random selection begins!

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People sit in a circle (representing the world!). One person stands behind one of the seated people. The teachers asks a "quick fire" Maths question to the person standing and the person seated in front of them. Whoever gets the correct answer first moves to stand behind the next person in the circle. The other sits. The first person to get all of the way around the world is the winner.

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A teacher versus 'the class' round of this online game would motivate pupils to work together to find solutions while learning from the elegant and creative solutions the teacher produces!

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Students divide up the centre pages of their exercise books into a grid of 12 rectangles. In one of the rectangles, write or draw the key facts or concepts from the topic they are currently studying. Use as much colour as possible. As new topics are covered, other rectangles can be filled in to produce a handy one page revision checklist.

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A teacher versus 'the class' round of this online game would motivate pupils to work together and enjoy the fact that their collective memory is bound to be better than the teacher's.

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The teacher tells everyone what their number is in the class register. Odd numbered students go and sit next to the student who comes after them in the register. The pairs of students compare answers for the questions they have been working on during the lesson.

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With only about two minutes to go before the end-of-lesson bell rings the news comes in that there is a bomb in the classroom that needs defusing before the bell goes. The teacher comes up with a suitably large number as the 'danger level' (189 for example) then pupils take it in turns to subtract a fixed number (7 for example) from the danger level. The class shared objective is to reduce the danger level to zero before the bell goes. Great fun!

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The teacher finds the exact value of a quantity such as the distance between two nearby towns or some world record measurement. A number line is drawn on the board and the students are asked to put a mark on the line representing their estimate of the value the teacher has chosen. The student who is closest to the actual value wins.
Examples:
How far is it from London to Birmingham? (102 miles or 163km)
The tallest person ever to have lived was Robert Wadlow. How tall was he? (272cm)
How fast is a sneeze? (160km per hour)
How far away is the moon? (356,410km - mean distance)

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At the end of the lesson students spend five minutes making up some 'extension' questions for the textbook exercise they have been working on.

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Students write down five words in the back of their exercise books to describe what they learned today.

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Students take it in turn to count going around the circle. If your number is a multiple of five you have to say "fizz". If it is a multiple of seven say "Buzz"

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Students work in pairs, one of the students acts as if they have just landed from Mars or Venus and missed today's Maths lesson. The other student has to explain the lesson using mime, diagrams and a calculator.

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Direct students to places on the web they can find more about the topic they have been studying today.

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Split the class into two lines. A sentence about the subject of today's lesson is then whispered to the first person in each line who then passes it on to the next person in their line. The winning team is the team whose last person can give the most accurate version of the phrase.

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The teacher has a set of six cards numbered 1 to 6. They are placed face down on the teacherâ€™s desk so that the teacher can pick up one at random. Pupils draw to small squares then a greater than sign then two more squares in a line. The teacher chooses four numbered cards at random. After each choice the pupils must choose one of their square to write that number in (then no changing of minds allowed).
Finally pupils are successful if the two digit number on the left of the inequality sign is greater than the two digit number on the right. If the pupil is successful he/she scores the two digit number on the right.

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The teacher has a set of large cards with the numbers 1 to 9 printed on (A large pack of playing cards would also work - Just one suit is needed). The cards are lined up, backs facing the class, on the pen rack of the whiteboard. All pupils stand up. The teacher reveals the value of the first card and the pupils guess whether the next card will have a higher or lower value (right hand up for higher and left hand up for lower). The second card is now turned around and pupils who got the wrong answer sit down. This continues along the line of cards. The last pupils to remain standing are the winners. If time allows discuss the probability of the situation.

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This is a good way of ensuring everyone leaves the class with a smile on their face. There is a large collection of mathematical jokes here for you to entertain pupils with, or, if you are brave, you might even ask the pupils to come up with some maths jokes of their own!

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All of the class stand up and close their eyes. The idea is to estimate when a minute has passed. The teacher indicates the start of the minute and when each pupil thinks a minute has passed they silently sit down. The last person to sit down before 60 seconds has elapsed is the winner.

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Everyone (including the teacher) writes down (secretly) a single digit number, a two digit number, a three digit number and a four digit number but, for all of these four numbers, the digits 0 to 9 can only be used once. When everyone has done this the teacher reveals their four numbers by writing them on the board. Pupils then score their own numbers. If their single digit number is larger than the teacher's they score one point, if their two digit number is larger than the teacher's they score two further points and so on. Finally the pupil(s) with the highest scores take over the role of the teacher for the next round.

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Pupils share their favourite numbers giving the reasons why. The teacher chooses their favourite favourite! Favourites with a mathematical justification have an advantage of course.

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Look at the recent Maths stories that have made it into the news.

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Students take turns around the class thinking of mathematical words beginning with the last letter of the word the previous person came up with.

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A pupil stands with their back to the board so they can't see the word projected. Their challenge is to guess the word from clues given by the class.

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Use the last few minutes of the lesson to explain that associating items with people you know is a good memory aid. Everyone should bring to the next Mathematics lesson a visual aid which will help the rest of the class remember the size of some unit of measure. Printable cards are available from the link below.

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The people line up in two rows at opposite ends of the room. In the centre of the room are nine chairs arranges in a three by three grid, each chair no closer than one metre to the next chair.
The people in the rows are numbered off from one to how ever many people are in each row. One row are the noughts and the other row are the crosses.
The leader (teacher) calls out a number at random. The person in the noughts team and the person in the crosses team with that number rush to sit on a chair in the grid. The first person to touch the chair can claim that chair.
The first team to get three of its members in a straight line wins!

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Use this collection of mathematical optical illusions to astound your pupils at the end of the Maths lesson. You could ask everyone to vote on which of the statements/options is true.

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Finish the lesson with some randomly chosen multiple choice questions that can be projected on the whiteboard. Label the four corners of the room with the letters A to D and a table in the centre of the room with the letter E. Pupils choose their answer for the multiple choice question then stand in the corresponding place in the room.

Use the link below to access the questions and tick the box that causes the letters to be shown next to the answers.

This activity could be done quietly and slowly or, for a more lively experience, add the rule that the last person to get to the correct answer is 'out'.

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Revising prime numbers is a very worthwhile thing to do in the last five minutes of a lesson. It works best if everyone has access to the 'Pick The Primes' page on their own laptop but it also works with the teacher projecting the fruit tree on the whiteboard and pupils writing down the prime numbers on paper.

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Students make up a short poem describing what they learned today.

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For students in the last few months before important exams this Finisher chooses a random exam objective for discussion. Do you understand all of the words used in the statement? Can you give an example? What are the key points to remember?

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Use the 'Random Recap' facility in 'Class Admin' to finish off the lesson by generating random questions and generating random student names to answer the questions.

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This is the mathematical version of the old game called hangman. The teacher (or computer, see link below) thinks of a mathematical word and writes dashes on the board to represent each letter of the word. Pupils have to guess the letters each of the dashes represents. If eight incorrect letters are suggested the game ends and the teacher has won. This game can also be played as a two team game. One team continues selecting letters until they select one that isn't in the word. Then the other team starts their turn. The winner is the team that completes the word.

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A game for the whole class to play involving chance and choice. A real opportunity to demonstrate a good sense of judgement and understanding of probability.

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Everyone chooses a number. The winner is the person who has chosen the lowest number that no one else has chosen

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A circle game in which people pretend to shoot the person on their left (with a water pistol) then pass on the pistol to the second person on their left. As people are soaked they drop out of the circle. Who will last the longest?

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Tardy Tranter has finally turned up to the lesson ten minutes before the end. You have been assigned to teach him what he has missed. You have a couple of minutes to prepare any notes or diagrams you may need.

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Swap teachers with a nearby classroom for the last five minutes of the lesson. Students have to tell the visiting teacher all they learned in that lesson.

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Students make up a question for the whole class to do based on what they have learned today. The teacher will pick one or two students at random and their question will be attempted by the whole class.

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Challenge the pupils to find some amazing mathematical fact to bring to the next lesson. Introduce this idea by talking through some mathematical trivia found on the Trivia page (see link below)

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Students take it in turns to count. The first person starts with one and can count one, two or three numbers. The second person starts where the first person left off and can count one, two or three more numbers.Whoever has to say "13" has to drop out of the circle.

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Variety is the spice of life and a keeping your Maths lesson varied will make it more enjoyable for your pupils. Why not end your lesson with a short Maths (serious or funny) YouTube Video.

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If pupils have access to Internet connected devices you could ask them to vote on the validity of some debateable mathematical statements such as 'Zero is a positive number'. Their votes are automatically converted to a bar chart that you can project and then discuss.

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The teacher or a student secretly writes down a number, draws a diagram or writes down a mathematical word on a piece of paper. Class members try to find out what's on the paper by asking questions that can be answered with a 'yes' or 'no'.

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Do you have any comments? It is always useful to receive feedback and helps make this free resource even more useful for those learning Mathematics anywhere in the world. Click here to enter your comments.

Brandon, Hong Kong

Saturday, September 23, 2023

"Four Fours

For the last ten minutes of class, the students must make every number they can in order with 4,4,4 and 4 using addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Whoever gets the highest number is the winner."